Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, and Leonardo DiCaprio star in Quentin Tarantino's western

Jamie Foxx is ‘Django Unchained’ on Netflix

In Django Unchained (2012), Quentin Tarantino takes on one of his favorite genres: the spaghetti western, with all its extreme violence, operatic drama, eccentric characters, and brutal portrait of frontier existence. But Tarantino being Tarantino, he doesn’t just make a big, violent, sprawling western filled gunfights and clever talk and driven by revenge and Old […]

‘Lore’ – navigating the collapse of Nazi Germany – free on Kanopy and Hoopla

Before she was tapped to helm Black Widow for Marvel, Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland directed Lore (Germany, 2012). A coproduction of Germany and Australia with a German cast, setting, and language, Lore takes the viewer on a harrowing odyssey through Germany after the fall of Hitler. The privileged life of fresh-faced German teenager Lore (Saskia […]

Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, and Brian d'Arcy James in 'Spotlight,' directed by Tom McCarthy.

Last chance: Oscar-winning ‘Spotlight’ on Netflix

Winner of the Academy Awards for Best Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, as well as Best Ensemble Cast by the Screen Actors Guild, Best Screenplay by the Writer’s Guild of America, Best Picture by the American Film Institute, and scores of other awards from professional and critics organizations, Spotlight (2015) is the kind of film that […]

‘Take Shelter’ – Madness and the end of the world on Amazon Prime and Hulu

You could describe Take Shelter (2011), the second feature from the talented Jeff Nichols, as an apocalyptic thriller, but this is a different kind of horror. Working class husband and father Curtis LaForche, played with sincere compassion and palpable anxiety by Michael Shannon, has visions of an Armageddon of Biblical proportions: black rain, Earth-scorching storms, […]

‘The Hunger Games’ – May the odds be ever in your favor on Peacock

Based on the first book in the dystopian trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (2012) was one of the more successful efforts to transform a hot young adult series into a big screen franchise, more mature than Harry Potter and grittier than Eclipse, and even a little political in its own right. The story […]

‘Fantastic Planet’ – the animated cult classic on HBO Max and Criterion Channel

La planète sauvage, the original French title of Rene Laloux’s legendary animated feature Fantastic Planet (France, 1973), is a better indication of the torments that await the inhabitants of this cult science fiction classic. The oppressed (and very human-like) Oms live in a world ruled by blue-skinned giants called the Draags, who treat the diminutive […]

Adèle Haenel stars in the film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

‘The Unknown Girl’ from the Dardenne Bros. on Hulu

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Unknown Girl (Belgium, 2016) revisits themes from their earlier films—poverty in poor communities, families going paycheck to paycheck, immigrants at the bottom of the social food chain—but this time views them through the eyes of a young doctor (Adèle Haenel). She’s on her way out of a small neighborhood office […]

Miguel Sandoval, Spike Lee, and Ossie Davis

Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right Thing’ on Peacock

Do The Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee’s vibrant, vital, thoroughly accomplished third feature, opens on a call to action – “Fight the Power,” shouts Public Enemy in the credits – and ends with a call to “Wake up!” Rosie Perez pumps out an aggressive shout of a dance in the opening credits, staged in front […]

Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Tom Hanks winds up in the longest airport layover in the history of mankind in Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal (2004). He plays Viktor Navorsky, a traveler from the fictional Eastern European country of Krakozhia that, as fate would have it, dissolves between the time he boards his flight in Europe and arrives at JFK in […]

‘Shoes’ – Lois Weber’s landmark silent classic on Criterion Channel

Lois Weber holds an important place in film history as the first major woman film director in Hollywood. What’s often forgotten in that honor is the talent that gave her a successful twenty five year career making films for the major studios. Weber tackled on serious issues through her dramas, putting a face to the […]